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MATCH PREVIEW | Huddersfield Giants vs Catalans Dragons

It’s 10th versus 5th in one of five Friday night fixtures in Super League. Catalans will be looking to cement their place in the top five whilst a Huddersfield win will take them four points clear of bottom side London. Here’s everything you need to know about this game.

 

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Huddersfield

Before last week’s 36-18 win over Salford, the Giants had been on a four game losing streak. Because of this, they have seen themselves slip further down the table.

With four of their last five games previously being away from home, they still have four more away games to compete in which is always a tough test at the latter stages of the season.

Catalans

Similarly to Huddersfield, the Dragons had also lost their last four Super League games before beating Wakefield 44-10 at home last weekend.

They are still clinging on to that fifth spot in the table but have Castleford breathing down their neck.

 

SQUAD NEWS

Huddersfield

Adam O’Brien drops out of the squad after suffering an injury against Salford last week. He is replaced by England Academy player, Dominic Young.

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Retaining their places are Tom Holmes and Oliver Wilson, who impressed coach Simon Woolford in their debut game last weekend.

Huddersfield have included an impressive 10 home-grown players in their squad this week, which shows that the game is definitely on the rise in the area.

Huddersfield 19-man squad: McIntosh, McGillvary, Gaskell, Frawley, Clough, Leeming, Matagi, Murphy, Mellor, Lawrence, Ta’ai, English, Wardle, Holmes, Ikahihifo, I. Senior, L. Senior, Wilson, Young

Catalans

Head coach Steve McNamara has made just one change for this game.

Matty Smith is out of the squad and replacing him is Mickael Goudemand.

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Jodie Broughton is set to make him 200th career appearance in this game also.

Catalans 19-man squad: Gigot, Broughton, Mead, Wiliame, Langi, Casty, McIlorum, Edwards, Garcia, Bousquet, Simon, Whitley, Da Costa, Goudemand, Albert, Maria, Romano, Kasiano, Tomkins

 

HEAD TO HEAD

Catalans have beaten Huddersfield in three of their last four visits to the John Smith’s Stadium but this season, they have already beaten them at home, winning 27-10 back in round 2.

Last season, Catalans won on three of their four meetings, including a Super 8s and Challenge Cup quarter-final victory. However, Huddersfield did beat them just after their Challenge Cup win over them in the league, winning 26-25.

 

KEY BATTLE

Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield) v Michael McIlorum (Catalans)

Here we have two completely different hookers but both are catalysts of their respective sides.

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Kruise Leeming really is a one-to-watch player for a potential England hooking role. Although born in Swaziland, he was raised in Halfiax and has already achieved an England Knights call up. With the likes of Roby and Hodgson in their 30s now, the future looks bright in the number nine shirt. Huddersfield look a different side when Leeming is controlling them in the middle of the park.

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McIlorum himself has always been a ball controller. Again, Catalans have looked a little lost without him at times as he adds another option in their attack. Since his return from his pectoral muscle injury earlier this season, he’s taken a while to settle back into the side. However, we know from previous years, he can make a big performance when needed. He’s also a big character in that Dragons side both on and off the pitch; let’s not forget his dog mascots in Catalans’ final home game last season!

 

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Friday 12th July
Venue: John Smtih’s Stadium
Kick-off: 7.45pm
Referee: Greg Dolan

 

WHO WILL WIN?

With very few changes to the Catalans side, I can’t see anything but a Dragons victory. Huddersfield do have some game changers in their side but they really do look down on their luck lately. Dragons win by 18 points.

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